title art
Lights Out!
All Ages
Find out what it would be like without electricity.

What You Need

  • Candles of all sizes (or kerosene lamps)
  • Games, songbooks, story books, crafts, writing/drawing materials
  • Bottles, jars, buckets of water

What to Do

  1. Have you ever been surprised by a power failure? Losing power can be a nuisance, but people long ago lived every day without electricity. Walk through your home and list all the items that need electricity. Think of what you would do without each item.
  2. Plan an evening without electricity. Shut off your lights and pretend that electric appliances do not exist. How will you keep your food from spoiling? If you do not have a gas stove, how will you cook your food? When darkness falls, how will you find your way around? Prepare a kit of supplies you might need for the evening.
  3. Plan activities for the whole family. Assume you're living in a home with one central room. Many older houses were built that way. The whole family is gathered in that one room until bedtime because that preserved fuel and candles. Consider such activities as reading aloud, singing, telling family stories, playing games, and doing puzzles. Perhaps each family member might be responsible for a different activity.

What Else You Can Do

  • If you can, visit a historical restoration of a house from the past, before electricity was available. Find out what people did in the evening. How was it like your evening without electricity? How was it different?

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